Thought, fact and quote for the day 13/5/12
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Thought, fact and quote for the day 13/5/12

Thought 4the day: when things go wrong what do you do? Who can you turn to? Life always has its ups and downs and twists and turns it literally is a rollercoaster. When you find someone you know can help keep them with you on that ride til things smooth out and you can let them off....
 
Quote 4the day: A horse is never broke its just taking a break from being asked in the wrong way..lol
 
Fact 4the day: Digitalis ( /ˌdɪdʒɨˈteɪlɨs/ or /ˌdɪdʒɨˈtælɨs/) is a genus of about 20 species of herbaceous perennials, shrubs, and biennials that are commonly called foxgloves. This genus was traditionally placed in the figwort family Scrophulariaceae, but recent reviews of phylogenetic research have placed it in the much enlarged family Plantaginaceae. This genus is native to western and south western Europe, western and central Asia, and northwestern Africa. The scientific name means "finger-like" and refers to the ease with which a flower of Digitalis purpurea can be fitted over a human fingertip. The flowers are produced on a tall spike, are tubular, and vary in colour with species, from purple to pink, white, and yellow. The best-known species is the "Common Foxglove", Digitalis purpurea. This is a biennial plant which is often grown as an ornamental plant due to its vivid flowers. These range in colour from various purple tints through various shades of light gray, and to purely white. The flowers can also possess various marks and spottings.

The first year of growth of the Common Foxglove produces only the stem with its long, basal leaves. During the second year of the plant's life, a long leafy stem from 50 to 255 centimeters tall grows atop the roots of healthy plants.

The larvae of the insect the "Foxglove pug" consume the flowers of the Common Foxglove for food. Other species of Lepidoptera eat the leaves of the Common Foxglove, including Lesser Yellow Underwing.

The term digitalis is also used for drug preparations that contain cardiac glycosides, particularly one called digoxin, that are extracted from various plants of this genus.
Depending on the species, the digitalis plant may contain several deadly physiological and chemically related cardiac and steroidal glycosides. Thus, the digitalis has earned several more sinister names: Dead Man’s Bells, and Witches’ Gloves.

The entire plant is toxic (including the roots and seeds), although the leaves of the upper stem are particularly potent, with just a nibble being enough to potentially cause death. Early symptoms of ingestion include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, wild hallucinations, delirium, and severe headache. Depending on the severity of the toxicosis the victim may later suffer irregular and slow pulse, tremors, various cerebral disturbances, especially of a visual nature (unusual colour visions with objects appearing yellowish to green, and blue halos around lights), convulsions, and deadly disturbances of the heart. For a case description, see the paper by Lacassie.

There have been instances of people confusing digitalis with the relatively harmless Symphytum (comfrey) plant (which is often brewed into a tea) with fatal consequences. Other fatal accidents involve children drinking the water in a vase containing digitalis plants. Drying does not reduce the toxicity of the plant. The plant is toxic to animals including all classes of livestock and poultry, as well as felines and canines.

Digitalis poisoning can cause heart block and either bradycardia (decreased heart rate) or tachycardia (increased heart rate), depending on the dose and the condition of one's heart. It should however be noted, that electric cardioversion (to "shock" the heart) is generally not indicated in ventricular fibrillation in digitalis toxicity, as it can increase the dysrhythmia in digitalis toxicity. Also, the classic drug of choice for VF (ventricular fibrillation) in emergency setting, amiodarone, can worsen the dysrhythmia caused by digitalis, therefore, the second-choice drug Lidocaine is more commonly used.
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